What is a biometric passport

What is a Biometric Passport?

Passports are nothing new to the frequent traveler. Just another necessity to add to the list as you’re packing for your next trip right? Besides making sure our passports aren’t expired and that they actually make it into our bags or pocket as we head to the airport, we don’t tend to think of them that often. We’d like to spice things up a bit and introduce you to a type of passport you might not have heard of before: the biometric passport.

What is a Biometric Passport?

A biometric passport is very similar to a regular passport book, but with the addition of an RFID chip located in the back cover. This type of passport also goes by the name of e-passport or electronic passport.

What is truly interesting about the biometric passport is that it isn’t something new. When you hear the name “biometric” or “electronic”, it’s no surprise that you immediately think of something fresh and modern. The US has been issuing biometric passports since 2007, and many other countries have done the same. 

You might be wondering how a biometric passport might help you. After all, you just want to get through airport security as quickly as possible and make your flight, so you can enjoy whatever destination awaits you. The information stored on the RFID chip in your passport makes identity verification a breeze. Without it, you would be spending more time getting acquainted with the lovely staff at the airport! The little chip located in the back of your passport contains a digital version of your information: your name, date of birth, a biometric identifier, etc.

Do I Need a Biometric Passport?

The short answer is yes! Unless you have a passport predating 2007, you already have a biometric passport. The good news is there is no extra steps to take in order to update your passport, beyond checking the expiration date.

How Do I Get a Biometric Passport?

Easy! If you’ve renewed your passport after August 2007, then you already have one. You’re no longer able to get a regular passport that doesn’t contain a chip.

Biometric Passports and REAL ID

In 2018, REAL ID mentions in the news skyrocketed as states worked towards becoming compliant with an Act that was passed several years ago. If you’re an avid traveler and haven’t gotten the full scoop on REAL ID yet, check out our blog series listed below. We cover what REAL ID is, how to get one, whether to use your passport or REAL ID, and more. You can also find all the latest REAL ID news updates and general passport information at Official Travel Documents.

We hope the above information was helpful to you! Need a certified copy of your birth certificate before traveling? VitalChek is at your service. We understand the importance of keeping your data safe and secure. As an officially authorized service agent for hundreds of state and local governments nationwide, we take pride in a fast and secure process for getting you the vital records you need.

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